Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Tarte Tatin

Windfall apples, what to do ? A quick glimpse at Family Food suggested Tarte tatin, after all what could be nicer than a caramel apple pie ?

For some reason I'd never realized that tarte tatin is cooked upside down, the recipe also called for frozen puff pastry. I skipped that as I was making my own shortcrust for some other bits.
First off came lining the bottom of the dish with 100gr of butter. Then I sprinkled 80gr of sugar over that (Depends a bit on how sweet the apples are). Then I cut some wedges from my apples. This is great for windfalls as you can chuck the less good bits of the apple.

Once it's all set up put it on the hob at a medium heat & watch the butter melt & the sugar begin to caramelize. At this point the recipe suggested putting a plat over the apples to make sure they got nicely covered.

I looked at several pictures on the web and the apples are really deeply caramelized, to a very dark brown. I didn't go that far, taking it off the hob when everything was golden. Now came the tricky sounding part. Next time I make this (and its not going to be too long before I do) I'll roll the pastry & measure it first, it can rest at the right size.

I dropped it over the apples & tucked it in as best I could. You can see bits of buttery caramel escaping up the sides. So it wasn't going to be the worlds best looking tarte tatin (I think that goes to those with the regular spiral of thin apple slices), but hopefully it was going to taste OK. With that it went into the oven on Gas mark 4 for 30-40mins (depends on the oven, whether you've pre-heated it and all those other factors).

Then comes the nailbiting section, turning it out. Place a plate over your flan dish & quickly invert, perform what ever voodoo you regard as acceptable & tap the flan dish, if everything is going you way you'll hear a flopping sound & then the big reveal.

Eat with cream, or ice cream (I like ice cream when the tart is warm & cream when its cold). The next day I was idly poking around the internet and several websites suggested that Tatin was a difficult thing and reading some of the recipes I'm not surprised. This was pretty straight forward, and if you aren't good at pastry, Jus-roll and similar work fine. If you've an abundance of apples this is worth a go, and the anxiety of turning out hot caramel is always a spice to an afternoon in the Kitchen.

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